Tuesday, November 16, 2010

La Fontaine: The Mule Boasting of his Genealogy

A prelate's mule of noble birth was proud,
And talk'd, incessantly and loud,
Of nothing but his dam, the mare,
Whose mighty deeds by him recounted were,--
This had she done, and had been present there,--
By which her son made out his claim
To notice on the scroll of Fame.
Too proud, when young, to bear a doctor's pill;
When old, he had to turn a mill.
As there they used his limbs to bind,
His sire, the ass, was brought to mind.
Misfortune, were its only use
The claims of folly to reduce,
And bring men down to sober reason,
Would be a blessing in its season.

Source: Wright's translation of La Fontaine, Fable 6.7.
Mulus Superbus

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